Monday, April 30, 2007

After the Bishop's Visit

I wouldn't call it calm, nor particularly quiet.

Even as the Bishop's Crown Victoria edged out of the Trinity parking lot yesterday, I was acutely aware of just how much work is ahead in the next couple of weeks. I have a retreat to get away to in the early part of next week, but the work before (some during) and much after is going to keep me preoccupied.

Soon, I hope, we will have a call secured and know who will be the next clergy associate here at Trinity. Just a couple of more bits to work through, a good dose of the Holy Spirit and some grace and we will be able to announce an outcome to the search before too long. As with any process, however, there is always a need to balance hope and reality. We hope to have an associate on board in the next couple of month here. Reality tells us that it is really up to the candidates, the other churches involved in the search processes with them...and just how they feel called to follow that first summons to parish ministry.

The reality of life in the Church is that no matter how good you are, how smart, how assiduous, how alert you can never always get it right. More often than not, it does NOT come out the way you intend.

Please don't assume that I am being fatalist. I am not. In reality, I am being optimistic. Even when "things fall apart" and when it does not all work out according to plan, God reserves the opportunity to make and create new life from the ashes of our burned expectations. That is true grace.

Too often, obsessed with our own sense of perfectionism and victory, we forget that fact. The greatest lessons are often gleaned from the fields of our greatest defeats. Can't remember the poet...but someone once said that you can take all the joys away...just don't take the shadows. They are, I believe, the things that teach us most about the angle, intensity and wonder of light.

Sunday was a blessing, though. The new Yamaha grand sounded glorious. The families gathered to celebrate confirmations, receptions and reaffirmations were ebullient. Bucks County revealed her splendor and sunlight warmed the day perfectly.

Just today, the cherry trees up the hill in the cemetery bloomed.

If you have never seen that sight, you have missed something. It is one of the visions that I will take with me to the kingdom of heaven, that's for sure.

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